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 Self-assembling vehicles take flight

This story is from the category Artificial Intelligence
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Date posted: 13/06/2010

Researchers in Switzerland are developing miniature vehicles that can self-assemble and then take off vertically and fly as a stable array.

The system, developed at the Institute of Dynamic Systems and Control at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Z?rich, is known as a Distributed Flight Array. The system is basically a flying platform consisting of a number of autonomous wheeled vehicles, each driven by a fixed ducted propeller. Each vehicle has its own motor and flight control system and is equipped with a computer, sensors and wireless communication systems.

The individual vehicles can drive on the ground, dock with other vehicles, and can fly but only in an uncontrolled and erratic way. When the vehicles are joined together, however, the combination becomes a sophisticated flight platform capable of coordinated flight, with data shared rapidly between the individual vehicles and flight control distributed across the array.

See the full Story via external site: www.physorg.com

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